I discovered Brett Kern’s fabulous ceramic sculptures while reading about them on io9. The sculptures look remarkably like inflatable vinyl toys, but are made of glazed ceramic, complete with blow-up tab glazed in gold or silver and featuring the artist’s stamp. I couldn’t help myself and did something I rarely do. I bought one immediately – a large yellow T-Rex.
Brett Kern Ceramic Sculptures
above: Brett’s work on display
above: Brett working on one of his “baby” sized dinosaur sculptures
Some snarky critics might find his work derivative of Jeff Koons’ inflatables (actual vinyl inflated toys placed on mirrors), Hybrids and blown-up looking metal Rabbit (made of stainless steel with chromium color coatings). But Brett’s are of a different subject matter, different medium, different process and of course, a different end result.
above: Jeff Koons’ various ‘inflatable’ sculptures are made of different materials and using a different process
That said, you’ve now got to see his work.
Triceratops ceramic, glaze, 12.5″ x 28″ x 13″:
Brontosaurus ceramic, glaze, 4″ x 13″ x 23″:
Stegasaurus ceramic, glaze, 4″ x 13″ x 23″:
Tyrannosaurus Rex ceramic, glaze, 15.5″ x 13″ x 8″:
The sculptures shown above range in price from $500 – $800.
Also available are “baby” sized sculptures for approximately $100. These ceramic smaller versions measure approximately (6″ x 5″ x 8″) depending on the dinosaur.
Baby Dinosaur sculptures:
He also collaborated with artist Justin Rothshank on a cool series of his ceramic dinos embellished with decals.
Of these, only the one shown below is still available for purchase at the price of $1,250. – at least it was at the time I am writing this post:
Also available is a fabulous Astronaut that looks like a blow-up toy ($1,500):
Brett, who hails from Pennsylvania and now lives and works in Elkins, West Virginia, started out as a graphic design major but after one year of college he discovered his love of clay and switched his focus to ceramics.
Upon graduating in 2010, Brett was awarded a long term Artist-In-Residence position at the Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, MT. After a year there Brett returned to West Virginia to begin his teaching career at Davis & Elkins College and to continue his own work.
His self-professed infatuation with pop culture of the late eighties and the nineties influences the subject matter and purpose of his work. ‘My predilection for producing collectible objects comes from my training as a potter and my persistent preoccupation with collecting toys, pop memorabilia, and nostalgic items from my youth.” says the artist.
The resulting products are a collection of what look uncannily like inflatable dinosaurs whoopie cushions and toys, but are made of cast clay ceramic and glazed in various colors. (Brett has also crafted other ceramics that don’t look as though they are inflated).
above: Brett creates other ceramic works, such as the items shown above
Brett’s work is available to purchase here at his etsy store
While maintaining his teaching career, Brett continues to show nationally and regionally. Taylor Books in Charleston, WV and The White Room in Thomas, WV both display his art. Brett received Best in Show in the HxWxD juried sculpture show at the Rosewood Arts Center in Kettering, OH and has work in the 5th annual Beyond the Brickyard show at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT.